Benefits of using Design For Six Sigma (DFSS) Methodology

Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) is a structured approach to designing new products, processes and/or services to meet or exceed customer requirements and expectations. DFSS provides a more systematic way to manage the deliverable, resources, and trade-offs. It helps to deliver better products and services that your customers want and willing to pay for at Six Sigma Level.

The objectives of this Blog Post is to present the high level summary of DFSS theory, consisting of concepts and tools that eliminate or reduce design defects and variations at Six Sigma level. While Six Sigma focuses on improving existing designs, DFSS concentrates its efforts on creating new and better ones1.

Fig. 1: Design For Six Sigma Process (DMADV)

DFSS has many approaches, but the most popular processes are DMADV (define, measure, analyze, design, verify) and IDOV (identify, design, optimize, validate). So, what That means for organizations? That means you should use Six Sigma in the design phase of product development as Design for Six Sigma (DFSS).

Whatever the approach you are familiar with or using, DFSS has the following four (4) phases a.k.a ICOV:

  • Identify requirements
  • Characterize the design
  • Optimize the design
  • Verify the design

The benefits of using DFSS are, but not limited to, the following: 

  • Zero Defects Design
  • Reduced variation
  • Increase production
  • Faster Launch of Products
  • Lower Design Costs
  • Lower Product Costs
  • Increasing Profit

Incorporating lean principles with DFSS will provide in other hand a structured road map with description of various concepts, tools, and techniques in both engineering and service context called Design for Lean Six Sigma (DFLSS)2. In fact, DFSS and Lean Six Sigma are linked together. When DFSS is used to redesign if it determined that the product or process, even after improvements, will never meet customer expectation; Lean Six Sigma can be used to reduce variation when process capability is insufficient.

To conclude on this note, DFSS is a business/engineering strategic process that focus on proactive design quality, rather than reactive design quality. DFSS is a systematic process to create produce-able designs by reducing and managing variation in order to meet the customer’s expectations of quality and/or performance3. So, when you are about to design new product or process, just think to incorporate DFLSS into your R&D strategy.


  1. Chowdhury, Subir. Design for Six Sigma. First published in 2002 in the United States by Dearborn Trade Publishing
  2. Jugulum, Rajesh and Samuel, Pilip. Design for Lean Six Sigma. Published in 2008 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey
  3. Monro, Roderick A.; Ramu, Govindarajan; and Zrymiak, Daniel J. The Certified Six Sigma Green Belt Handbook; Second Edition

About the authorKossi Molley, Chemist, LSSBB